The Marlins aren't playing games with Albert Pujols. According to a Major League source, the Marlins are serious about signing the free agent first baseman and intend to make a competitive offer.
Pujols is the big prize in this year's free agent class and has reportedly received a nine-year, $200 million offer from the Cardinals to remain in St. Louis. Sources say that Loria, in particular, covets Pujols and envisions him at first base when the Marlins open their new stadium on April 4 -- against the World Series champion Cardinals, no less.
In addition to a lucrative contract offer, the Marlins will certainly use location in trying to reel in Pujols, a native of the Dominican Republic. When speaking about the Marlins' interest in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Marlins president David Samson said: "We think we're a great fit because we're Miami and we are a natural destination for any Cuban player, any Latin American player. We are the gateway to the Americas."
You can be sure Pujols heard those same words.
Should the Marlins sign Pujols this offseason? Well, if they do they will have to decide what to do with current first baseman Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez would obviously become trade bait and I am not sure what the Marlins could get in return for him, probably not much. Sanchez is not your typical major league first baseman as he doesn't have much power.
More on Pujols to the Marlins possibility after the jump, including a tweet from Foxsports Ken Rosenthal:
I wrote about Pujols a few weeks ago asking whether we were seeing the beginning of his decline, and here are his year by year stats, per Baseball-Reference:
|162 Game Avg.||162||600||123||43||42||126||8||.328||.420||.617||1.037|